United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
WALLACE CAPEL, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by Marc Wayne Holliday, an indigent state
inmate currently serving a twenty-year sentence for second
degree sodomy imposed upon him by the Circuit Court of
Chilton County, Alabama. In this complaint, Holliday
complains that he received ineffective assistance at his
resentencing and challenges the constitutionality of the
sodomy conviction on which he is currently incarcerated. Doc.
1 at 2-3. Holliday names Sibley Reynolds, the judge
who presided over his state criminal proceedings, and David
Karn, the attorney appointed to represent him at
resentencing, as defendants in this cause of action. Holliday
seeks a reversal of his sodomy conviction and expungement of
all records regarding this conviction. Doc. 1 at 4.
review of the complaint, the court concludes that this case
is due to be summarily dismissed prior to service of process
in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii).
Judge Sibley Reynolds
alleges that Judge Sibley Reynolds violated his
constitutional rights with respect to the second degree
sodomy conviction entered against him pursuant to his guilty
plea on September 17, 2007 and during sentencing proceedings
related to his resentencing on March 10, 2011. Doc. 1 at 3.
The claims against Judge Reynolds entitle Holliday to no
relief in this cause of action.
complaint, Holliday seeks declaratory and injunctive relief
from his second degree sodomy conviction and the final
sentencing order issued by Judge Reynolds. This court,
however, lacks jurisdiction to render such judgment in an
action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. “The
Rooker-Feldman doctrine prevents . . . lower federal
courts from exercising jurisdiction over cases brought by
‘state-court losers' challenging ‘state-court
judgments rendered before the district court proceedings
commenced.' Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic
Industries Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284, 125 S.Ct. 1517, 161
L.Ed.2d 454 (2005).” Lance v. Dennis, 546 U.S.
459, 460, 126 S.Ct. 1198, 1199 (2006). Although
“Rooker-Feldman is a narrow doctrine, ”
it remains applicable to bar Holliday from proceeding before
the court as this case, with respect to any claims
challenging a final order issued by a state court, is
“‘brought by [a] state-court loser complaining
of injuries caused by state-court judgments rendered before
the district court proceedings commenced and inviting
district court review and rejection of those judgments.'
544 U.S. at 284, 125 S.Ct. [at] 1517.” Lance,
546 U.S. at 464, 125 S.Ct. at 1201. Moreover, a § 1983
action is inappropriate either to compel or to appeal a
particular course of action by a state court. Datz v.
Kilgore, 51 F.3d 252, 254 (11th Cir. 1995) (A §
1983 suit arising from alleged erroneous decisions of a state
court is merely a prohibited appeal of the state court
judgment); see also Rolleston v. Eldridge, 848 F.2d
163 (11th Cir. 1988).
light of the foregoing, the court concludes that summary
dismissal of any requests seeking declaratory or injunctive
relief from Holliday's second degree sodomy conviction or
the 2011 resentencing order issued by Judge Reynolds is
appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). See
Clark v. State of Ga. Pardons & Paroles Bd., 915
F.2d 636 (11th Cir. 1990); see also Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).
Attorney David Karn
complains that his attorney at resentencing, David Karn,
violated his constitutional right to effective
representation. Doc. 1 at 3. In accordance with applicable
federal law, this allegation entitles Holliday to no relief
from this court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
essential element of a § 1983 action is that a person
acting under color of state law committed the asserted
constitutional deprivation. Am. Manuf. Mut. Ins. Co. v.
Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40 (1999); Willis v. Univ. Health
Serv., Inc., 993 F.2d 837, 840 (11th Cir. 1993).
To state a [viable] claim for relief in an action brought
under § 1983, [a plaintiff] must establish that [he was]
deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States, and that the alleged deprivation was
committed under color of state law. . . . [T]he
under-color-of-state-law element of § 1983 excludes from
its reach “‘merely private conduct, no matter how
discriminatory or wrongful, '” Blum v.
Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 1002, 102 S.Ct. 2777, 73 L.Ed.2d
534 (1982) (quoting Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1,
13, 68 S.Ct. 836, 92 L.Ed. 1161 (1948)). . . . [Consequently,
] state action requires both an
alleged constitutional deprivation “caused by the
exercise of some right or privilege created by the State or
by a rule of conduct imposed by the State or by a person for
whom the State is responsible, ”
and that “the party charged
with the deprivation must be a ...